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A Boston parking space: How much value does it add to a home?

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It depends

John Hilliard/Flickr

Curbed Boston asked Constantine Valhouli, co-founder of real estate research site NeighborhoodX, about how much value a parking space adds to a Boston home.

In response, he sent us this Q-and-A, which provides a nuanced breakdown of how to consider that almighty amenity’s possible worth.

How much does a parking space add to the value of a property?

It depends. It's actually a fascinating and complex question.

The average parking spot is 170 to 200 square feet, and, like all real estate, the value is different depending on which neighborhood it is in. The same parking spot in Back Bay and Brighton will be priced very differently.

And there are different kinds of parking spots, too?

Exactly. Even if we are going to hold one variable—neighborhood—constant, there are still different kinds of parking spots: an off-street spot in a driveway or alley, tandem spots, or garage.

So, even in the same neighborhood, the price for a parking spot can range dramatically depending on what kind of parking spot?

Yes. And this plays into convenience as a driver of value as well. Let's imagine two scenarios in Back Bay. One is a dedicated parking spot that you can drive into or out of easily. The other is a tandem spot where you need to move the other car in order to access your own car. The value for the former is going to be much higher.

In what neighborhoods is parking the most expensive?

Back Bay, Beacon Hill, and downtown, of course. There is a combination of demand driven by population density, as well as disposable income to pay for a convenience.

Also, independent parking spots can't be purchased with a conventional residential mortgage, which raises another interesting question of value: Is the value of a parking space that is on the same deed as a unit different from one which can be sold independently? (Short answer: yes.)

What are some of the prices like?

One of the most expensive recent sales at the Brimmer Street Garage (a "car condo") is $390,000—or, assuming 200 square feet, $1,950 a square foot. A dedicated spot in Back Bay sold for $305,000, or $1,525 a foot. And, in the South End, recent prices have ranged from $50,000 to $88,000, or $250 to $400 a foot.

So, could you quickly tell us how much value a parking spot adds to a condo?

Nope. It would depend on what neighborhood the condo is in, what kind of parking space, and whether or not the spot is on the same deed.

The ideal would be to find nearly identical condos, where one had a parking space and the other did not, to determine the difference in value. But, given differences in most condos (outdoor space, level of renovation, monthly expenses), it is difficult to regress for a single variable.

This may be more than you ever wanted to know about parking spaces.